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NAFTA Talks Prompt Mexico to Buy Brazilian Corn

As it becomes clear that NAFTA talks are in the offing, Mexico’s livestock producers were successful in securing lower prices on yellow corn from Brazil.

A Mexican delegation that included representatives from livestock companies and government officials visiting Brazil and Argentina were able to forge deals directly with suppliers, in effect, cutting out traders such as Cargill who would traditionally arrange shipments.

With threats being made against NAFTA by the current U.S. administration, and a renegotiation in the wings, Mexico has been eager to show that it can source its corn from alternative suppliers, and has planned talks with the EU, Brazil, Argentina, and a visit to China.

Higher prices historically kept Mexico from seeking out corn from South America, however, the delegation was able to secure shipments from Brazil at a premium of only $3 to $5 per ton.

Mexico now plans to import 300,000 tons of corn from Brazil - and although it is a mere fraction of the 12.75 million tons the country imported from the U.S. last year, it is still five times more than Mexico imported from Brazil the year before.

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